WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: Leicester City.I DON’T pretend to be an English Premier League buff, but show me someone who says they can’t appreciate Leicester City’s title win and I’ll show you a liar.
It’s one of the greatest underdog success stories in sporting history, they were as long as 5000/1 on the opening day of the competition.
Andy Murray naming his first-born son Novak was a shorter-odds bet for goodness sake.
Their win has inspired me to take a look back on some of the other extraordinary, unlikely victories through sporting history, here’s some of my favourites.
BOOKIES’ FAVOURITE: Prince Of Penzance wins the Melbourne Cup.
PRINCE OF PENZANCE WINS THE MELBOURNE CUP (2015)
On Tuesday, November 3, 2015 Michelle Payne wasn’t the household name she is now, nor was her brother and strapper Steve.
She was coming back from suspension along with a series of falls, one of which left her with a fractured skull and she refused to let anyone else aboard the gelding in preparation, such was her relationship with the horse.
No one knew any of that though, not until Payne piloted the 101/1 chance to victory in last year’s Melbourne Cup, becoming the first woman to win Australian racing’s biggest prize in the process.
Plus, the horse is owned by six knockabout blokes who hid the purchase from their better halves, brilliant.
LAST MAN STANDING: Stephen Bradbury.
STEVEN BRADBURY WINS GOLD IN SALT LAKE CITY (2002)
“Default!? The two greatest words in the English language”.
It’s one of Homer Simpson’s greatest quotes and I’d be surprised if Steven Bradbury didn’t adopt it as a life motto after his gold medal win at the 2002 Olympic Games, which he claimed by default.
By default, I mean all of his opponents falling down and gifting him the win, which happened in the semi-final too.
Bradbury was the guest speaker at a function while I was at university, so naturally a few mates and I requested he recreate the moment with us for a photo.
That snapshot is now one of my most prized possessions.
GUTS, GOLD, GLORY: Jon Sieben driving to the wall in 1984.
JON SIEBEN WINS GOLD IN LOS ANGELES (1984)
With Sieben, just 17, coming fifth after touching the wall for the final time in the 200m butterfly Olympic final 32 years ago, with former champions and world record holders flanking him, you’d have be forgiven for writing him off.
You’d probably have been forgiven for switching your TV off, he was gone.
Surely, he couldn’t win?
He did, storming home to not just win gold, but set a new world record to boot.
OUT OF THIS WORLD: Bill Murray and Michael Jordan.
MICHAEL JORDON INSPIRES THE TUNE SQUAD TO VICTORY (1996)
I couldn’t leave this out, although being a movie it might be a bit of a stretch – see what I did there?
Rarely have I celebrated so hard when Jordan posterized the green and purple Monstars to give the Tune Squad a win.
That was only last week too, I imagine I’d have been more animated when I was six watching it for the first time.
One of Bill Murray’s finest cameos too – “Mike I’m open … never mind”.
Classic stuff, and now a second one’s been announced. If I could pre-order tickets I would.
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